Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Major League Baseball Commercials Awards

So, I spent a while actually watching all of the TV commercial spots on every MLB team's website that offered commercials or Multimedia, and I've ranked them for your amusement...

Best Commercials Overall: Seattle Mariners

The winner, and still champion of the "Best Baseball Commercials Online Award" is, of course, the Seattle Mariners! Watch for yourself!

Mariners 2005 Commercials

This year's commercials have a Home Shopping Network theme. They're all pretty good, but some are better than others -- I recommend The Batter's Box, The Tag, and The Pep Talk.

Mariners 2004 Commercials

These are uniformly AWESOME. I can't even pick a favorite because I love them all, except "Advice", which I think is pretty stupid, but it's even more stupid since I watched it after coming home from a game where Bret Boone totally lost the game on an idiotic error where he let the ball go through his legs. So...

Mariners 2003 Commercials

Most of these are pretty funny. I think "Nicknames" and the "Intimidator" pairs are best, although I'm wondering what the Intimidator ones were like when they were really on TV, since Sasaki's doesn't really work if you haven't seen Rhodes's, though it's the funnier of the two.

Edgar Martinez Commercials

Edgar rules! That's all there is to that. The best one, beyond a doubt, is "Edgar and the Rookies"... "I took my geoduck to Puyallup."

Ten Years of Mariners Commercials!

Oh, man, where to start. There's just a lot of awesome stuff here. Go forth and watch clips for a while. You won't be disappointed.

So, who else has good commercials up?

First Place Runner Up: The Oakland Athletics

Athletics 2005 Commercials

The Oakland A's win this award, for playing to the judge, with "First Commercial", starring Jason Kendall:

Director: So, Jason, this is your first commercial for the A's?
Jason Kendall: Ayup.
Director: So when I call action, Kotsay's gonna run and crash into you at full speed. Then Mister Macha here's gonna douse you with kerosene. Then when I cue him, Swisher here's gonna light you on fire. *pause* Whatever you do, don't drop the ball.
JK: Gotcha. *looks over at the outfield* Hey, uh, what about that bulldozer?
Director: Oh, that doesn't run over you until later.
JK: Oh. Okay, let's go!

In general, these are really funny. The Jason Kendall one is best, but the Barry Zito one is a close runner-up: "How old is he?" "26." "Whoa. That's old. You think he pitched to the Babe?" Chavez hitting autographed balls into the stands is pretty funny, as is Harden getting pulled over by a cop for throwing 90 mph.

Second Place Runner Up: The Chicago White Sox

I'm mostly giving these guys second place based on their wide diversity of commercial styles -- from the artsy 2005 stuff to the goofiness of some of 2004, I think they keep a pretty consistent style, and look very polished.

White Sox 2005 Commercials

These spots are very artsy. I like the Takatsu ones -- notably "Knowing", and "Wasabi", featuring Freddy Garcia and Shingo Takatsu. "Jalapeno or Wasabi? Either way, you're gonna get burned."

White Sox 2004 Commercials

These are not nearly as artsy, but "Them vs. Us", "Freddy's first BP", and "Team Chemistry" are pretty funny. The others, eh.

Third Place Runner Up: The Texas Rangers

I'm wondering why they don't have 2005 ones up, and sadly I can't seem to watch their 2003 ones, but the 2004 ones provide a wide range of entertainment.

Rangers 2004 Commercials

Some of these spots are great -- most of the ones labelled "Funny" are worth watching, as are the Teixeira and Soriano "Come to Play" ones further down. I think the best one though is the one with Jim Sundberg and Michael Young, mostly because they included outtakes -- that's new and different. There's an awesome metaphor in "Birthday Candles" where they describe the ballpark as a birthday cake, the fireworks as candles, and the bats as the matches -- I really like that.

And, in other categories, we have:

A Few Moments of Brilliance: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

I like the way some of these are done, but they didn't really call out to me as being of overall quality.

Angels 2004 Commercials

These are not as funny as the rest of the AL West. The diner one ("I'd like 120 ribbies, please") is cute, and the classroom one where they're learning Spanish is okay, but quite frankly, Edgar Martinez's classroom thingy teaching rookies how to speak proper Northwest was much better.

All Style, No Substance: The Toronto Blue Jays, The San Francisco Giants

Blue Jays 2005 Commercials

I'm torn on these. The movie trailers are GREAT -- I love "The Man With the Gold Glove" as a parody of James Bond, and seriously, all of the trailers are great -- but if you watch the actual players' commercials at the bottom, they're really lifeless. So, eh. Also, those puppets annoy the crap out of me.

Giants 2005 Commercials

Hmm... "SBC, the place to be" is a nice slogan, and all of these commercials seem pretty artsy and hip, like the sort of thing you'd see on TV in San Francisco... but aside maybe from the one where the girl's like "Coming here is like Prozac. No, it's better than Prozac", I wouldn't really call any of them funny at all.

These Are Great, But Do You Have Any More? Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins

Tigers 2004 Commercials

There's only two here, and they're from last year, but the pinata one is kinda cute.

Twins 2005 Commercials
Twins 2004 Commercials

Again, only two TV commercials per year here, but they're pretty funny -- "Sorry, uncle Phil, but you were a Yankee fan anyway." The Joe Mauer radio commercial is pretty funny too. Some of the radio spots in general are pretty good, but since I was more or less trying to rate just TV spots, it's hard to judge these overall on just their small offering.

Most Boring TV Commercials Known To Man: The Kansas City Royals

Royals 2005 Commercials

These are the most boring TV spots I've ever seen. They just have the coaches going "Hey, come watch us play baseball, okay?" I think I would undoubtedly fast-forward these, if I ever actually watched television, and I certainly would never bother loading up a web browser to show my friends "Oh, you HAVE to see these commercials" the way I do with the Mariners. Subpar advertising for a subpar team. Go figure.

Other TV Spots

Some other teams don't offer commercials in their multimedia section, but they do offer episodes of their team-related TV shows...

Milwaukee Brewers: Go Brewers!
New York Mets: Next Stop Shea
Boston Red Sox: State of the Red Sox Nation
New York Yankees: State of the Yankees

There's also the Opening Day commercials done by the MLB's "I Live For This" campaign, which includes some pretty funny fancasts as well. I like the Angels Fancast best for the Rally Monkey song, and the Yankees ILFT commercial best because of the guy talking about taking his students to the park and all.

I Live For This

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